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European Day of Languages: two-thirds of working age Europeans state they know a foreign language

Sep 26, 2013 | News

(26 September 2013) – On the occasion of the European Day of Languages, celebrated each year on 26 September, Eurostat publishes data on language learning of school pupils and perceived language skills of adults.

In the EU28 in 2011, 83% of pupils at primary & lower secondary level and 94% of those in upper secondary level general programmes were studying English as a foreign language.

The second most commonly studied foreign language was French (19% of pupils in primary & lower secondary level and 23% in upper secondary), followed by German (9% and 21%) and Spanish (6% and 18%).

The importance of English as a foreign language in the EU is also confirmed amongst working age adults. Considering all languages, two-thirds of the total population aged 25-64 stated they knew at least one foreign language.

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